Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
After her debut novel -- a fictionalized (and highly sexualized) version of her life -- became an overnight bestseller, she dropped out of the public eye and turned to writing science fiction under a pseudonym. She's happily married to the tall, charming diet doctor Peter Krushelevansky and has settled into a life that she finds wonderfully predictable -- knitting in the front row of her daughter Joy's drama rehearsals, volunteering at the library, and taking over-forty yoga classes with her best friend Samantha.(Yes, I finished two books today!)
As preparations for Joy's bat mitzvah begin, everything seems right in Cannie's world. Then Joy discovers the novel Cannie wrote years before and suddenly finds herself faced with what she thinks is the truth about her own conception -- the story her mother hid from her all her life. When Peter surprises his wife by saying he wants to have a baby, the family is forced to reconsider its history, its future, and what it means to be truly happy.
Radiantly funny and disarmingly tender, with Weiner's whip-smart dialogue and sharp observations of modern life, Certain Girls is an unforgettable story about love, loss, and the enduring bonds of family.
This was a very good book about family, about life, about death, about growing up. I found this touching and familiar on more than one level. I could relate to Joy on some parts of her life. I remember being a teenager, and questioning everything including my very own existence. I could also sympathize with Candice, as a mom - just trying to do the best you can do, make the right decisions. Protect and love your kids to the point that you are smothering them to death.
I found all of the characters to be believable and fun. I laughed a lot while listening to this. Candice was especially witty, and I think that made her even more real to me. Humor was how she dealt with a lot of hard issues in her life. Although it seemed that she would eventually face the inevitable, she side stepped all the hard stuff with jokes until she was prepared enough to deal.
Joy was so teenager! She knew where she wanted to be - pretty, popular, to belong. She also had no clue who she was. She gave into peer pressure, and suffered the guilt of it. She went a little far when she jumped a plane to California, at which point I was glad that it was just a book. I honestly felt that in the few months we got to see of Joy's life - we literally watched her grow into a young woman. It was beautiful.
The last several chapters of this book really threw me for a loop, and honestly I didn't like it much. I had the perfect picture ending in my mind - and while there was completion, there was a feeling of happiness and peace at the end, I'm still not happy for that twist.